Elon Musk’s brain-implant company Neuralink says it has received a green light from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to kickstart human trials on its prototype Link brain-computer interface (BCI). “We are excited to share that we have received the FDA’s approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study!” tweeted Neuralink.
We are excited to share that we have received the FDA’s approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study!
This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our…
— Neuralink (@neuralink) May 25, 2023
Neuralink to Commercialise its Brain-computer Interface
Neuralink aims to commercialize BCIs in wide-ranging medical and therapeutic applications. Mr. Musk envisions disabled and healthy individuals swiftly getting surgical implants at local centers. He said the devices could solve a range of conditions, including obesity, depression, and schizophrenia, and enable web browsing and telepathy. “This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people,” Neuralink said in a tweet.
It should be noted that The FDA rejected an early 2022 Neuralink application for human trials, outlining “dozens of issues” the company needed to address. One such issue involved the device’s lithium battery, the possibility of the implant’s wires migrating within the brain, and the challenge of safely extracting the device without damaging brain tissue. The company is also accused of mistreating monkeys and is under investigation for allegedly transporting contaminated devices removed from monkeys.
A Little Bit About the Company
The brain chips are designed to interpret signals produced in the brain and relay information to devices via Bluetooth. However, experts have cautioned that Neuralink’s brain implants will require extensive testing to overcome technical and ethical challenges if they are to become widely available. According to Neuralink, patients with Neuralink devices will learn to control it using the Neuralink app. They can then control external mice and keyboards through a Bluetooth connection.